Slated to be Asia’s rising economic tiger, Vietnam’s untapped market is an increasingly worthwhile choice for foreign investment and global brands to expand into. The country reports steady economic growth, an increasingly well-educated population, and a young population whose median age is 30.7. As Chinese wages continue to rise, the Southeast Asian nation becomes an increasingly popular alternative for foreign brands to relocate their manufacturing.

What about the food and beverage sector?

When it comes to the F&B sector, nearly 50% of household expenditure is on food, with food consumption expected to grow 61.6% from 2012-2017. The numbers hint at large market potential for the sector. With several developing projects in the pipeline, Chef At Work is inclined to agree.

Franchising Fast Track

Given the barriers to entry like regulation, access to suppliers, and capital investment, foreign brands often find success by embracing strong local partners as franchisees. As of 2016, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has reported 148 foreign brands registered their franchise businesses locally, a good number of this are food and beverage brands. This includes the likes of international fast food, and cafe operators, some familiar names like Starbucks, KFC, and Jollibee.

Every country has their own path to prosperity, and no two countries are alike, however similar. With the surge in Viet Kieu, or overseas Vietnamese, returning home, and an economy that is increasingly open to the global marketplace, it has led to a rising wave of homegrown startups, brands, and franchises.

Likewise, through franchising, homegrown local brands have gone regional and international, such as the famous Trung Nguyen Coffee, Wrap and Roll, Kinh Do Bakery, AQ Silk, Café Cong, to name a few.

Problems and Opportunities

The emerging market has its fair share of challenges. Burgeoning demand for food supply due to growth in city areas places demands on traditional methods of food supply. Poor observation of hygiene by partners within value chain have resulted in health scares that alarmed the public at large. At the same time, this provides substantial opportunity for businesses to import the correct technology, methodology, and infrastructure required to sustain the 94 million-strong population.

Skilled labour for F&B remains a challenge as culinary and certain skill sets are still lacking. This means operators would need to cater for stronger training protocols and a strong internal team before considering making large-scale expansions. Undeniably, this also promises first-mover advantages for those who are able to overcome the challenge.

Well understanding these factors, Chef At Work recognises the strategic fit in bringing our services to the region. Building the right relationships with local partners early on in turn helps us build a sustainable business platform where we are able to easily both help overseas clients enter the market and build up strong local F&B brands.

Chef At Work is proud to announce our upcoming regional office in Vietnam.

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